Monday, January 28, 2013

The Melody Of The Type

Sorting through an old box, I find some sheet music which I must have inherited from my Uncle Harry. If I remember rightly, my brother got the piano, my mate Dave got the piano stool, and I got the music; which was a particularly inappropriate choice as I neither read, play nor really comprehend music. I have kept the few scraps of music, not for the content, but for the beauty of the typography. The counterpoint between the strength and richness of the main title, the delicate filigree of the underlines and the swagger of the signature brings music to my eyes, if not my ears.

I wasn't familiar with the song itself, but I have managed to track down a rendition on YouTube. In truth, I think I prefer the melody of the type.


  1. Stuff recorded then, all seem to have that echoy quality that makes it sound if they were recorded in a large dustbin. I understand now why the graphics were music to your eyes.

    Did you notice the price; 2 shillings - I remember old boys who would have come out with something like;

    2 shillings (in shrill voice)
    2 shillings, when I was a youngster I could have got a shave and haircut, 10 woodbines, taken the girlfriend to the cinema, had a couple pints for meself and glasses of Stout for her, and a fish & chips supper and still had change out of 2 Bob.

    Excellent find

  2. I'm with you; my ears aren't tuned for such. Perhaps song writing didn't world out for P.J. O'Reilly, but the world-wide chain of restaurants seems to be a success.

  3. Old printed music is great to look at.

    I have always been impressed by a lot of 20th century classical scores - usually the more avant garde ones. Composers who wanted things notated in unusual ways (like John Cage) often worked hard at their draughtspersonship. The results were often beautiful in themselves, stuff like

  4. How cool! I used to love searching through my Grandma's collections! It began in her piano bench which spilled over and you could just barely close the lid, then onward and upward to her attic!

  5. Rather interesting when one comes across long forgotten stuff. I was going through books to throw away the other day and made some discoveries of gifts that were given to me as a child. I think you've just given me a good blog post .

  6. How beautiful, if you could frame some of the old music scores.

  7. When I was about 16, my boss was convinced that he was an great singer waiting to be discovered. He told me his voice was just like that of Caruso. He took offence when I asked in all innocence, "Is that Robinson Caruso?"

  8. The song is unfamiliar but Signor Caruso of course is not. His rendition is indeed phenomenal but not in a good way. The song title seems appropriate as I would have laughed to loudly hearing him in a concert hall. So I think the typography has much more artistic value as at least it is in English.

  9. The trouble is we are listening with 21st century ears on the wrong sort of device. Give me the sound over the type any day - thrilling!


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